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Should You Buy a TV From A Company You’ve Never Heard Of?

Q. I often see TV manufacturers that I’ve never heard of selling sets for what seems like really low prices. I’m tempted to buy one, but I’m a little nervous about their quality. Is it safe to buy a TV that’s not a name brand? — George, Salem, Oregon.

George, that’s a great question. Companies such as Seiki, Element, Haier and Sceptre often advertise TVs at prices far lower than comparably-sized sets from name-brand manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony and LG.

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The prices are irresistible, particularly if you are shopping on a budget, which most of us are. But before buying, you wonder if a company is relatively unknown, could it truly produce a TVthat’s less expensive but still be of top-quality?

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Here’s my rule of thumb:

If you are buying a larger-screen TV, say one 40 inches or larger, I would recommend that you stay with a name-brand company. The tried-and-true TV manufacturers have devoted years developing a reputation for reliability and quality and, consequently, are more likely to invest the extra time and money to ensure that the set is top-shelf.

That’s not to say that a lesser-known brand can’t manufacture a very good TV; many do. But, generally speaking, I think you’ll find a name-brand TV manufacturer will produce a larger-screen set that offers a better picture than a no-name brand. And if you’re spending hundreds of dollars, or more, on a TV, you want to be sure that you go with a brand that’s stood the test of time.

Now that said, there are times when buying a less expensive TV from a no-name brand makes sense.

For instance, if you’re buying a smaller-screen TV — 32 inches or less — it might be wise to take a chance on a set that’s less expensive than a comparably-sized TV from a big brand. With a set 32 inches or less, you really don’t see much difference in picture quality in a name-brand TV compared to a no-name brand TV. The screen is so small (relatively) that the picture is going to be about the same.

So if a no-name brand TV is selling a 32-inch set for, let’s say, $169, and a comparably-sized (and featured) TV from a big brand is $259 or more, well, give the less expensive TV a try. You might save a lot of money and get the same picture quality that you would from a name-brand TV.

Of course, before buying, read what customers and reviewers are saying about the no-name brand set. But if it appears that people are mostly positive about it, then go ahead and buy it. You’ll save some money.

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Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at swann@tvpredictions.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann
@swanniontv

About TV Answer Man (1282 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

1 Comment on Should You Buy a TV From A Company You’ve Never Heard Of?

  1. I’ve had really good results with TCL. Paid $699 (Sept. 2017) for a 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV. Very happy with it. Have another TCL, bought it back in 2012, a 55-Inch 1080p 240Hz LED HDTV, still works great.

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